Number of Myanmarese crossing over hits 3,000

AIZAWL, 5 April (TNN): While Mizoram government officials remained tight-lipped about the actual number of Myanmar nationals who have crossed over, sources close to Aizawl-based Chin organisations on Sunday said that at least 3,000 people have already taken shelter in the state. Majority of them are employed in Myanmar’s police and fire services, as well as in other government departments.

“We have been instructed not to reveal the exact number of (Myanmar) refugees due to the attitude previously shown by Union home ministry, which told the state government to deport anyone entering the state from Myanmar,” a Mizoram home department official said, adding that a large number of people could have entered through the 404-km long porous international border with Myanmar without being detected. 

He said it was impossible to maintain an accurate record as many refugees were afraid of being identified due to their relatives back home in Myanmar who are still at the mercy of the ‘Tatmadaw’ or the country’s army.

On Thursday, a senior home department official had told TOI that more than 1,500 refugees have taken shelter in the state. The Mizoram government has made arrangements to lodge the refugees who do not have relatives or friends in Mizoram.

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